- Nov 26, 2014
I'm not taking anything personal. As long as people treat others with respect, are civil, and make attempts at backing up their statements I'm happy to continue dialogue.
In regards to your quote, that's fine.. but I must then ask, how DO you form trusted opinions? If you trust literally no one, are you also a data scientist, statistician, or virologist? If so, kudos, please enlighten us.
But if you're not a modern day renaissance man, then you MUST be forming opinions and beliefs based off of something and I would wager $20 you are not launching full-blown FBI identity verification background checks on every piece of content you consume in your life. Or are you? <actually not sarcasm
So I think to answer your question, you have to know some back story.
Also, I might have this wrong in how I think you may be asking the question.. so just keep that in mind.
I only form trusted beliefs on things I care about. That's prob a given, but know that I care about very little enough to do full-blown research on. By saying that, I am not suggesting you care about a lot more than me and thus your day is filled with research or shortcuts. I am just setting up the environment here for understanding.
As far as the virologist question. No.
As far as data scientist or statistician, I do have a semi-background in this. I don't have a degree in it. But I do it enough to know a lot about both considering my background in general with marketing, large datasets, SERPWoo and a bit more. I know more than most general people about this, but prob not more than someone that does this as their sole career, IS VERY GOOD AT IT, and has done it the last 40 years. If I were to rate myself, I'm probably better than most entry level professionals who work in these fields.
You are right that I am not launching full-blown FBI investigations on the people writing the pieces I may read. But I feel like I do not need to either. What would it solve for me if I did?
If someone wrote a piece about how eating Mangos cures cancer and I checked that person's background and verified they DID live at X location, their real name was actually Y, they have 2 degrees from Yale in Z field, and they also did ABC.. that doesn't make what they wrote honest or truthful. The verification actually doesn't change the outcome of the article I am reading.
Could it raise the possibility of it being honest? For most general people, yes. But I also don't base my beliefs on what general people believe either ( group think ).
But if I have cancer, I'm not betting my life on eating Mangos all day and skipping out on my chemo, right? All because I verified this person's name and background. I'm also not betting my life on all these fake COVID-19 stats and scare tactics either just because XYZ person said something while holding up their Harvard degree for a news soundbite.
I care about and consume ( news/info ) very little.
At some point in life ( not saying you havent or you did something wrong.. not that at all ), you finally realize what is important in life and sometimes that also means you narrow down to just those things. I went through that stage and narrowed down what can consume my life. What I need to focus on.
When that happens, the need to research a ton of stuff vanishes. Because you are only focusing on very little to begin with that can even have that opportunity. Everything else, well just doesn't matter.
Combine that with what I said before:
You only need to know a few very basic things about life and humans, to know all you NEED to know.
I'll share one with you today.
1. Humans are flawed. All humans. Not just those without degrees or 100+ years of life experience. All humans. They lie, they manipulate, they influence, they mis-understand, they do things to others they don't intent and those other people take offense. Humans are also selfish.
This one thing by itself unhinges a lot.
When you know and understand basics like this, other things become very clear and a lot more doesn't have to "researched" to know.
Example. When the stats first came out about COVID-19 and how millions would die. I didn't need to research it or get a degree to verify it. I knew it was wrong based on #1 above.
So now I am layering different experiences and basic truths, along with only those things I care about and need to focus on. It's very free-ing mentally. Using mental models from experience and others ( potentially ) - https://fs.blog/mental-models/.
While these mental models act similar to shortcuts I mentioned before, they are based on my experience of things that are true. Things I don't have to rely on another person to tell me because humans can have agendas and lie. Stuff that just because you have degree or a job, doesn't equal true or false or mis-understanding or random ranges.
After all of that, if I need more information I look at data sets if I can get them and I look at how those data sets can be "not clean". What kind of information is missing ( in the data set and how the data was collected ). I ask a lot of questions to myself and map out whats not being told in the data, as in who could possibly have an agenda in all of this or where some data was collect inaccurately and doesn't tell the whole picture.
I'll give you a good example.
The general public was hit with lots of info about Navy ships and Army tent hospitals launching all across the US to battle the deadly COVID-19 virus. We just had to have these because hospitals were overflowing into the streets and they needed help.
It feed fear into the nation. Doctors, military, gov leaders all fed this to John Q Public on the news.
But then this pops up: - https://www.kuow.org/stories/washington-state-to-return-centurylink-field-hospital-to-feds ( Army field hospital for Covid-19 surge leaves Seattle after 9 days. It never saw a patient ).
This wasn't BFE, it was Seattle. This is just one example.
9 days and not 1 patient.
So where is the onus to prove whats right or wrong. The media and leaders and "authority figures" did all their actions with all their experts and degrees and set up emergency hospitals and navy ships to help these hospitals, but the hospitals don't need them. These emergency measures can not even get a patient.
So the onus now because me not fact checking the overflowing hospitals that "need help", but if these ships and tent city setups actually had a patient or not. If someone is lieing to me here because of an agenda or fable.
But this is where it stops. I don't care. It's not on my hot list/topic at the moment. It's not impacting my goals. It's not going to provide my kids a better future if I verify.
Because no matter if I verify and find out if true or false, we don't have a vaccine for it. Im gonna stay under "shelter in place" no matter if I verify. Knowing won't get me from $5m to $20m a year in my business. The FBI background checking would do nothing but waste my time and money and not really give me a truthful outcome.
Some things you just don't need to know. For everything else, don't take someone else's advice as they prob don't know either regardless of that degree or not. Find out on your own.
Have you ever been to Africa @eliquid?
Like physically been in the rain-forest and done your research on the flora and fauna to know it's real? Or do you accept that this continent in fact exist? Do you trust the generally accepted maps of the world, continents and the 7 seas?
Do you maybe trust that the photos from National Geographic are in fact real, and there exist such creatures as gorillas, lions, and chimpanzees ... or do you have to self-research it?
I have been many times in Africa, central, north, east, south. Would you believe me if I told you it's real?
At what point is something proven enough? Who is a good authority to speak "truth" to you? You don't trust doctors, lawyers?
The great thing about mankind, unlike other animals such as cats or fish, is that we can write down and pass along knowledge, so every person does not have to experience everything first hand to use this knowledge to better themselves and build upon it to research new concepts. Every doctor does not need to discover that not washing hands before surgery passes bacteria to the operation wound, because some doctor discovered and documented this - and now other doctors can "assume" it's true and go on researching more important new things.
Even intelligent animals such as monkeys and great apes make tools, but everything has to be taught first hand, they don't have the great encyclopedia of chimpanzee knowledge, so their growth from generation to generation is stagnant.
The great expansion of wealth and quality of life for normal people beyond royals and aristrocracy came with the accessibility of knowledge in books, and to learn beyond what's passed down from generation to generation by "show and tell".
Edit: this is not a personal attack, I'm just curious, I really struggle to see how your concept of self-research works. I.e. how do you know the deaths are fake? Because someone said it online? How do you know they are right? At what point is something proven right? In my personal opinion, something in the medical field by a doctor is more likely to be correct, because of their experience and training. They are not always right, but compared to "anyone else" - I trust them more.
How do you know that more people did not die, because the containment and precautions did work? Would you react differently if we did nothing and it turned out to be far worse? Is it acceptable to do too much, given the knowledge people had of the virus in January and December is not the knowledge we have now? What if it was worse? How bad would it have to be to warrant an economic setback? 2% deaths, 5%, 10%, 30%? Who decides when it's bad enough and how much economic loss is warranted vs how many deaths? Would you lose 100 000 to save 10 lives, 100 lives, 10 000 lives, 10% of the population? I don't know the answer personally.
For things that don't really matter, I can accept something that another person told me.
Do you have a uncle or grandfather that likes to tell tall tales? If you don't, do you know the general idea?
I had an uncle that loved to tell about the HUGE bass he caught and it slipped off his line every single time we went fishing. This monster bass that was basically un-catchable.
In the grand scheme of things, nothing about his story is important or matters. It's not life changing and wont't impact goals ( mine ).
But I don't need to be on his boat and jump into the lake to know there are HUGE bass in that lake. Or that the fish in the lake are actually BASS instead of bluegill. I don't need to experience this myself and research it to know there are fish in the lake, or that he went to that lake on the day he said.
I don't need to have secured a scholarship in "bass fishing" to know fish can come off a line once caught.
So I can have a belief ( somewhat ) or accept what he is saying without research on that, without doing it first hand like your chimp or animal example. It can be passed down verbally or written and I would be fine accepting certain parts of that story without need to research on my own.
Why? It's not important. What about it will actually impact my life or others? Right? Same with maps of oceans or certain plants in Africa. It's not something I need to care about. For most people day to day, same for them too.
Just like how I was taught in books handed down to me, that Christopher Columbus discovered America. I can accept it. It's not important actually and it doesn't impact me. Knowing this fact will not improve my life in anyway years to come. So I can accept it without researching it. Funny enough, this handed down history that I didn't research, proved to be untrue. So much for those "professionals" and scientists getting it right all those years.
But what if my uncle said, that specific BASS he is trying to catch has fatty oil that cures cancer? AND FOR ME TO BELIEVE HIM because he has a Phd in maritime biology and all I need to do is lose my job and shelter at home for him to tell me the secrets?
Yeah, Im not accepting that as truth. And I can verify his credentials, but it doesn't change the outcome or make it honest. I would have to research this on my own now.
Why? Because it impacts me directly. I gotta lose my job and shelter in place. Also my wife had a pre-cancerous tumor once, so that also sorta impacts me a bit. At this point, yeah I am going to research on my own.
If he had said it cures diabetes and I needed to give him $99 teach me to how to catch the same fish myself, I wouldn't need to research it because I don't care and diabetes doesn't impact me.
I don't disagree that under normal circumstances that a doctor giving medical advice would be possibly more accurate than someone on the street.
My concerns are on a whole other level and these aren't normal circumstances.